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When his five-round fight with Israel Adesanya was complete at UFC 263, Marvin Vettori thought he was going to have his hand raised. Once again, it didn’t happen.

Vettori (17-5-1 MMA, 7-3-1 UFC) lost his rematch with UFC middleweight champion Adesanya (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) by unanimous decision, dropping all five rounds on the scorecards across the board at Gila Rivera Arena in Glendale, Ariz.

Although he did land some solid strikes and had the champion in some compromising positions on the mat, Vettori never truly had Adesanya in danger of being finished. He thinks he did “some good things,” but absorbed 96 significant strikes and called leg kicks “the story of the fight.”

Still, though, Vettori thought in the moment he might get his hand raised.

“Right after the fight, I thought I won,” Vettori told BT Sport in the aftermath of UFC 263. “He’s like, ‘No, you didn’t win.’ But at the end of the day, it’s respect. We don’t like each other, but it’s respect. We’ve shared the octagon for eight rounds now, for 40 minutes basically. At the end of the day, you’ve got to give some props.

“I think 50-45 was definitely not the right decision, but it is what it is. At the end of the day, I’m 27 years old. I’m going to go back to the hotel. I’m going to go and run. I’m going to do like a five-mile run. I didn’t even take a hot shower because I didn’t think I deserve it. That’s how crazy I am. I’m going to go back and work and get ready for the next fight.”

Vettori said the fight didn’t play out how he wanted in a lot of ways. After dropping a split decision to Adesanya in their initial meeting at UFC on FOX 29 in April 2019, his entire goal around the rematch was to make it definitive with a knockout or submission.

He didn’t get either, and he said it’s all considered a failure.

“I had all the cards to beat him, but I didn’t,” Vettori said. “I said coming in I left no doubt, and even if I won, I would’ve left doubts. At the end of the day, I didn’t do enough.”

Despite the setback in the biggest moment of his career so far, Vettori said he’s not done. He still sees a bright future ahead with many big fights, and he is already targeting a clash with Paulo Costa next.

“I would like to really destroy this drunk guy who can’t even stay off drinking,” Vettori said. “It’s ‘Borrachinha.’”


Twitter reacts to Israel Adesanya’s title defense against Marvin Vettori in UFC 263 rematch